April 15, 2012

Some Easter dinners more doggone than others


---- — Easter has come and gone, but not the memory. In years gone by, it was a foregone conclusion that Kaye would lay the sumptuous feast right here in our comfortable 1870 Morrisonville home. You can't imagine a traditional holiday dish that wasn't lovingly prepared and served to our ravenous horde and any neighbors who cared to stop by. It was the same at Christmas and Thanksgiving and myriad birthdays for our children, their children and all the other begats.

We have thousands of photographs to prove that the good times started right here in our Little home on the beautiful Saranac River. Extra chairs, folding tables, laughter and humanity spanning several generations. Never an automatic dishwasher in the kitchen, as we lined up to wash and dry the plates and silverware and exchange stories of family love.

One Easter for Kaye and me left particularly poignant recollections. We had a huge, male Weimaraner named Thurston. He was a beautiful specimen of doghood but supplied several lifetimes of grief because of his "special" personality. I once wrote a short piece of nonfiction commemorating something Thurston did that I would find difficult to relate to this family audience. Our grandchildren called him "Urston," and the title is "Urston Ate It." Use your imagination.

One Easter morning, Kaye left a huge spiral ham on the kitchen table for a few minutes and returned to find it missing. If a dog can smile, Thurston was doing it in the corner while making evil sounds and emitting awful gastric odors that only a large beast with a full stomach can do.

A long butcher knife was the closest implement. Kaye wielded it deftly and purposefully as she and Thurston went round and round the house while the rest of us cowered in corners. She didn't catch him, and I cannot remember what we ate to go along with our vegetables on that Easter day.

Easter of 2012 was spent with Sandi and Dennis Connell at their home in Schuyler Falls, and it was wonderful in every way. We were embraced by their huge family and invited friends and were so grateful to be there. We owe them heartfelt thanks.

Kaye and I start every day of our lives with gratitude foremost in our prayers and in our hearts. We are so very blessed with our own family, which seems to grow with each passing month. I think the latest count was 35 great-grandchildren and several great-greats.

Kaye had a birthday yesterday and received all the hugs and kisses she deserved. Husbandly decorum dictates that I not mention her age. Suffice to say she is still very active and beautiful in every way, and our love grows stronger with each passing year. She saved me from myself a long time ago when we decided to make our Baker's dozen a Bakers-Little dozen.

I drove north on Route 22 last week and smiled as I passed an antiques store that was once called "The Brothers Five Restaurant." On May 4, 1974, after exchanging our vows at the Old Base Chapel, we attended a reception at the Beekmantown establishment, and believe me when I say it was wonderful.

We hope your Easter this year was as special as ours, and we thank all of you for wishing us well in person and in the social media that occupies so much of our time.

Perhaps some of you even chose to enjoy an Easter meal at your favorite diner. So be it. I received a delightful note via email last Monday from Bill Gates Jr. of Queensbury. It read as follows: "Gordie, The CVTM (Champlain Valley Transportation Museum) sent me along your great story about old diners, including my parents' BILL GATES DINER in Bolton Landing. Thank you for all you do."

The Gates diner can be seen and enjoyed at the museum here in Plattsburgh, and you can use your imagination to taste the fantastic homemade blueberry pie that was served there so long ago.

Have a great day and please, drive carefully.

Gordie Little was for many years a well-known radio personality in the North Country and now hosts the "Our Little Corner" television program for Home Town Cable. Anyone with comments for him may send them to the newspaper or email him at